Last night I learned from climate change-watchdog Bill McKibben, commenting on Amy Goodman’s program “Democracy Now,” as reported on the ZNet Top website, that last week’s temperatures in the U. S. were not only “off the charts, but off the wall the charts are on.” I’d heard a few things about the warm weather from friends and family in the United States, but I had no idea that, according to McKibben, it may well have been the hottest week for this time of year in that area in recorded history. (It’s also been unconscionably cold here, and the goddamned spring days haven’t even kicked in yet.)
McKibben was talking about the speech President Obama gave in Cushing, Oklahoma as a suck-up to the oilmen who grease the wheels of his re-election campaign (or else go out of their way to sabotage it–don’t forget, he who pays the piper calls the tune), which Jeff Goodell of Rolling Stone also reported on, saying that another global warming expert said it was “Obama’s worst speech.” The president of hope and change apparently said the equivalent of “drill, baby, drill,” and gushed over how the U. S. had enough pipelines to encircle the whole planet, as if the earth were Prometheus in chains or a mummified King Tut. The gist of the speech was to celebrate the advent of the southern portion of the hotly contested Keystone XL Pipeline, which will pump oil from Oklahoma to Texas, but (again, according to the aforementioned commentators) do nothing to lower the price of gasoline.
I love Barack Obama, if only because I love everybody, but I agree with Matt Taibbi that he may be the most disappointing president ever, and if actions speak louder than words, it’s as clear as water that anyone who parks his butt in the White House, as the late Joe Bageant pointed out, doesn’t give a damn about what happens to anyone who doesn’t live there.
How else can you explain Obama’s decision to sign into law the horrendous National Defense Authorization Act, which you can read all about on Wikipedia and in Chris Hedges’ latest column at the Truthdig website? Hedges, along with a few other conscientious American dissidents, including the venerable Noam Chomsky and “Pentagon Papers” author Daniel Ellsberg, are suing Obama for a breach of the Constitution and a violation of presidential authority by making it legal for a U. S. president to arrest any citizen suspected of being a terrorist-sympathizer without providing any grounds and locking him or her up until (arguably American-generated) hostilities cease. Under the new law, the Commander-in-Grief would also be able to arrest anyone his microscopic heart desires around the world, along with using the U. S. military to police American streets and keep everyone in line.
Sounds like freedom to me! God bless the new improved America!
What I’d like to see is someone like Obama, or his cousin Dick Cheney (who’s just been invested with a new ticker, bless his heartlessness), torture aficionado Donald Rumsfeld, chronic moron George W. Bush, or any of these belligerent clowns have a dark night of the soul, maybe during a harrowing mushroom trip, and come out on the other side to spend the rest of his life doing everything in his power to reverse the terrible lava-like flow of his thoughtless actions.
Now that would be something.